- Sep 1, 2003
Since Senator Milne will soon be our guest, I thought I should pass on this explanation from the Census Campaign mailing list in which Gordon Watts sets things straight, yet again, about how Senator Milne ended up as the sponsor of the much reviled Bill S-13. She has been and continues to be a crucial part of the campaign to have the census released to the public unconditionally after 92 years. The Alberta Family Histories Society has been another crucial player, not only because the Federal Court Actions have been here, but also because we have written and submitted briefs to both the Expert Panel formed by the federal government a few years ago to review the issue of the release of the census and to the Senate Committee studying Bill S-13 last spring, but also because we have responded in a big way to the petitions to support several Private Members Bills on the issue and the letter writing campaign to Members of Parliament. I believe that all our local MPs are on side.
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: [CCC] Letter from M.P. Walt Lastewka Resent-Date: Mon, 01 Sep 2003 15:13:07 -0600 Resent-From: canada-census-campaign-l@... Date: Mon, 01 Sep 2003 14:07:42 -0700 From: "Gordon A. Watts" <gordon_watts@...> Organization: Canada Census Committee To: canada-census-campaign-l@... References: <20030901163231.71669.qmail@...>
Joe and All During the course of our campaign, Muriel and I have occasionally been made privy to information that we have been unable to pass on to others. That information has at times influenced the direction in which the campaign was headed. It would greatly surprize everyone if they knew how many different directions that information came from. If we were to pass on information given to us in confidence, not only could those giving us that information be subject to serious consequences -- legal and otherwise, we would no longer be trusted to receive further information. Having said that, I can state that from personal conversations with Senator Milne that she is no happier with the conditions and restrictions of Bill S-13 than are the rest of us. She has consistenly fought for unrestricted access to Census records. She has done more than any other person in Ottawa to promote our goal of unrestricted access, 92 years after collection, to all Census records. Most of what she has done has been in the background and so has not been obvious to the rest of us. She has twice submitted her own Private Member Bill that we found very acceptable. She has petitioned and made recommendations to Cabinet and various Ministers, and sought support from many MPs and Senators. When it comes down to it however, she is only one person, and is obviously not the one that Cabinet has listened to best. Senator Milne made her recommendations to those in power, but she did not draft Bill S-13. The conditions and restrictions of S-13 make it obvious that Industry Minister Allan Rock listened more to Chief Statistician Ivan P. Fellegi than to Senator Milne, or to any of the tens of thousands of us who ask for unrestricted access to Historic Census records. It would not surprize me to find out that Ivan Fellegi drafted Bill S-13 on his own. Short of a total ban on access, the conditions and restrictions of S-13 are certainly what he has sought from the start. Senator Milne was asked to sponsor Bill S-13. We originally felt that it was to honour her for the work she had done on our behalf. As I have stated in the past, it now appears that it was less to honour her than to restrict what she was able to do while the Bill proceeded through the parliamentary process. As stated in the quote below: "I am the sponsor of the bill and, as such, I have a responsibility to support the government position on it. THE GOVERNMENT POSITION at this time is that it will accept no amendments." That says it all -- as sponsor of the Bill Senator Milne had a responsibility to support, or state, the government position. The GOVERNMENT POSITION at that time was that it would accept no amendments. Having met and talked with Senator Milne on more than one occasion I believe that this statement had to be a very difficult one for her to make, and did not reflect her personal position. We, and she, were led to believe that there would be little or no opposition by the government for the amendments that we sought to S-13. She believed those assurances and passed them on to us. In accepting those assurances we now believe that Senator Milne was betrayed. I will not name those we believe betrayed her, but it should not be difficult to figure out. We expected that the introduction of a government Bill would be a starting point for debate and discussion and that through that debate and discussion the amendments we sought would be moved and passed in the Senate. Obviously we were wrong. We have hopes that amendments can be moved and passed in the House, and we are aware that certain MPs are intending to move amendments. We may yet be proved wrong here as well. If those amendments are not forthcoming, then we seek the defeat of Bill S-13. I cannot speak for Senator Milne. I suspect however, that knowing what we know now, were we starting over she might decline to sponsor the Bill. In so doing she would at least be able to put forth her own position in debate, rather than that of the govenment. Could Senator Milne now withdraw as sponsor of Bill S-13? Quite possibly. The consequenses of doing so however, might serve to destroy any credibility she has, both personally and politically. Should that happen we would have no voice left to fight for us in the Senate and behind the scenes. We are disappointed in the conditions and restrictions of Bill S-13 and unless they are changed or removed we seek its defeat. In that disappointment, however, we should not be blaming Senator Milne for those conditions and restrictions -- they are not hers and I can assure you she does not support them.. We should instead be thanking her for the work she has done, and continues to do on our behalf. Lay the blame where it belongs -- do not shoot the messenger because you do not like the content of the message. I posted a short time ago about not taking things out of context -- not taking a small portion of a post or a few words out of a sentence and making it something that was not intended by the writer. I urge everyone to apply the same reasoning to the effort that Senator Milne has put out on our behalf. Look at the whole picture -- not just a small segment of it that does not reflect the reality of the whole. Happy Hunting Gordon
----- Original Message ----- From: "J. Kuchta" To: Sent: Monday, September 01, 2003 9:32 AM Subject: Re: [CCC] Letter from M.P. Walt Lastewka Hello, There is a concern I share and wonder about regarding Senator Milne and Bill S-13. I've read the transcripts for the two Senate meetings earlier this year when S-13 was discussed. The following is an excerpt: Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology Issue 12 - Evidence OTTAWA, Wednesday, April 9, 2003 The Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology, to which was referred Bill S-13, to amend the Statistics Act, met this day at 3:30 p.m. to give consideration to the bill. Page 24 (of 25) Senator Milne: I am the sponsor of the bill and, as such, I have a responsibility to support the government position on it. The government position at this time is that it will accept no amendments. Personally, I am interested in knowing why and how she, as a genealogist, can support S-13. When reading the transcripts I was confused because it was my understanding she supported releasing census records without restriction similar to what's now available. Am I accurate in saying that? It seems a reasonable and fair thing to ask her. In her comment above she says it's her responsibility to support the government position. Why? Is it because she's a Liberal Senator? I haven't been involved with this issue for the whole five or six years it's been going on. I've never met the major players involved and don't know what they think personally. All I know is I've read Bill S-13 and it stinks and I was disgusted by the proceedings and poor discussion contained in the transcripts of the two Senate meetings. I've worked with muncipial and provincial administrators and politicians in Saskatchewan and a smaller scale at the federal level. It's seems the farther up the chain you go the worse it gets in trying to deal with them. Anyway, I find it hard to trust any of them. That's it for now, Joe --- theoldmedic wrote: > Mr. Watts: > > You are for too kind to those government hacks. > > Mr. Lastewka and other supporters of the > governments position lie > regularly about this whole matter. They have > to know that they are > lying, they just think that we are so stupid > that we will not figure it > out. Either they know that they are lying, or > they are so stupid that > they do not look at any information themselves. > > As you said, the ONLY reason the government > released the 1906 census was > because of the legal action your group took > against the government. The > argument in the Senate showed clearly that this > is still the governments > greatest fear. That the courts will order ALL > census returns released > after 92 years. > > So, the government says, "We will pass > legislation that will meet your > every desire." And the genealogical community > stopped doing anything, > because the government had made its promise to > you all. You listened to > your "friends" in government, and believed > everything that they told you. > > And so the government wrote a bill that would > do exactly the opposite of > what they had told you they would do. And, > they chose a sponsor of that > legislation that had a good reputation in the > genealogical community. > Someone that could placate people long enough > for the government to ram > it through the Senate. Someone that could lie > to you, and string you > along. Or at a minimum, string you along while > she was manipulated (I > don't believe that is what happened, but it is > in the remote realm of > possibility.). > > I am still amazed that a person that claims to > be a genealogist actually > sponsored this bill. Didn't she read it? Of > course she did, she just > didn't give a damn about the genealogical > community. Her loyalty was to > the government, not to the people of Canada, or > to genealogists. Why > have you never publicly asked her, "Did you > read that bill before you > agreed to sponsor it? Or before you presented > it to the Senate?" > > This bill directly contradicts the findings of > the expert panel, the > desires expressed in the "Town Meetings" and > the entire genealogical > community. No real genealogist could possibly > have supported that bill, > except for political reasons. It is designed > to thwart genealogical > research, and to eventually keep all census > data secret. You still have > no real idea what the "Undertaking" will > consist of. The same people > that lied to you about what S-13 would do, are > the ones telling you that > the "Undertaking" will be very benign. > > The saddest thing is that you appear to still > believe them. You have > been betrayed, lied to and manipulated. Yet > you look up at those > political hacks, and say, "Oh please, lie to me > some more. I believe > every word you say to me." > > They will tell you anything in private, to keep > you from getting aroused > and angry. "Oh sure, we can amend that just a > little" or, "I'm sure the > government will not enforce loyalty on the > vote" and anything else that > you want to believe. Remember who you are > dealing with, POLITICIANS! > > The only real hope we have is that the > government has more important > issues than S-13. You know full well that the > government is NOT going to > allow any significant amendment to that > legislation. Senator Milne's > aide has repeatedly stated that the government > will NOT allow any > substantive amendments to S-13. It will either > pass as it is, with all > of the objectionable parts, or it will not be > passed at all. > > What I do not understand is why YOU insist that > significant amendments > can be made to this bill? The people in a > position to know say that such > is NOT possible. Are they mistaken or > misinformed? Or are you playing > Sancho Panza, tilting at windmills? > > You may choose to strike me off the mailing > list, as you have others that > do not agree with your position. But sooner or > later, you must come to > understand that your favorite politicians have > played you, and a few > other leaders of this campaign, for fools. > They don't give a damn about > our desires, they only care about their > political positions, and what > their political leaders tell them to do. > > I an no longer seeking information on my family > lines. This issue will > not effect me directly at all, except for the > fact that the 1921 census > will have me listed. > > I am too old, and frankly too tired to devote > much time to genealogy any > more. But my children, my grandchildren and > two of my great- > grandchildren are genealogists, and they have > been carrying on where I > left off. It is for their future, and the > future of generations yet to > come that I support complete and free access to > all future census > returns. I can guarantee that not one person > in my family will ever vote > for any M.P. that supports S-13. > > Jeff > > > ==== CANADA-CENSUS-CAMPAIGN Mailing List ==== > Read Gordon A. Watts' column on Post 1901 > Census issues at > http://globalgazette.net > ______________________________________________________________________ Post your free ad now! http://personals.yahoo.ca ==== CANADA-CENSUS-CAMPAIGN Mailing List ==== Download Post 1901 Census petitions at http://globalgenealogy.com/Census/ en français http://globalgenealogy.com/Census/Index_f.htm ==== CANADA-CENSUS-CAMPAIGN Mailing List ==== How to unsubscribe from Mail Mode. Send a message to CANADA-CENSUS-CAMPAIGN-L-request@... that contains (in the Subject line and body of the message) the command -- unsubscribe -- and no additional text.